The uncontrolled, unmonitored slaughter of protected Adelaide and Yellow Rosellas and Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets by commercial fruit
growers in South Australiad was first allowed by the then South Australian Minister for Environment, Dorothy Kotz for a period of 1 year from the 26th of May 1999. The current Minister for Environment Iain Evans has allowed the slaughter to continue for the Adelaide Rosellas and the Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets.
This action is now receiving world wide publicity.
On Wednesday 28th March 2001, Mr Evans announced that the regulation letting horticultural managers shoot these native birds without a written permit will be revoked from April 30th 2001. (After completion of harvest.)The article below is reproduced with the kind permission of The Courier newspaper and K. Kenny.
Sir:-- Autumn in
the Adelaide Hills, a crisp clear Sunday evening after a warm day. As
we contemplate a day's work in the garden we can block out momentarily,
the sound of the gas guns in the newly developed (without community consultation)
Nestled on the town boundary it is a splendid sight: rows of fruit trees without the visual impairment of netting, scarecrows or bird of prey silhouettes. Presumably six months of gas guns from 7 am till 8 pm is considered more community friendly.
But wait, there is more on this splendid Sunday evening.
We hear the sound of shotguns firing. It is the third Sunday in a row that we have heard this sound and it continues for an hour.
There are people in the orchard shooting native birds. They appear to be shooting not at the fruit trees but into the gum trees which line the roadside.
After the guns cease we take a walk along the roadside verge, outside the orchard fence underneath large gumtrees where the corpses of several lorikeets lie in the grass.
Further down the road we see an injured bird with a damaged wing. We catch the lucky survivor and give it to our local wildlife carer. one of those selfless people who deal with the results of others' carelessness.
So while some of us put up nesting boxes and put out feeders and water and plant bird attracting vegetation, others are using gas guns to frighten and guns to shoot the same birds.
Bird smugglers get six months in gaol. Orchardists get six months licence to kill.
One is illegal and criminal, the other is legal and criminal.
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